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  • German soldiers in American Colleges

    I was reading some books on German P.O.W.s in U.S. army prison camps.
    They actually learned not only English but after the war, many of them stayed on and went to colleges in the U.S. Some of them became prominent scholars, businessmen (including a former Waffen SS sniper now a corporate businessman in Illinois). It is weird and embarrassing that many American soldiers after the war had a hard time getting back to civilian life while their enemy was attending school with them?:crazy:

    I have nothing against someone receiving an education but what if you were a returning soldier from Europe and attended a college class when the guy sitting next to you opposed you in the Ardennes! What are your thoughts?

    Especially, I don't get it that former German and Japanese soldiers joined the U.S. Armed Forces in the late 1940s and 1950s?:crazy:
    VonMoltke

  • #2
    Re: German soldiers in American Colleges

    Originally posted by FelixAlicea
    I was reading some books on German P.O.W.s in U.S. army prison camps.
    They actually learned not only English but after the war, many of them stayed on and went to colleges in the U.S. Some of them became prominent scholars, businessmen (including a former Waffen SS sniper now a corporate businessman in Illinois). It is weird and embarrassing that many American soldiers after the war had a hard time getting back to civilian life while their enemy was attending school with them?:crazy:

    I have nothing against someone receiving an education but what if you were a returning soldier from Europe and attended a college class when the guy sitting next to you opposed you in the Ardennes! What are your thoughts?

    Especially, I don't get it that former German and Japanese soldiers joined the U.S. Armed Forces in the late 1940s and 1950s?:crazy:
    I understand returning soldiers (collectively, army, navy, etc) having trouble sitting next to former enemies. I know Marines who fought in the Pacific who still hate the "Japs", their word, not mine.

    However, it is our history, and hopefully a legacy that we open our national arms to all who wish to emigrate to the US. Remember, not all, I dare say most, of our opponents in WWII fought against us not as haters of the US, but defenders of their countries. Most being conscripts, who probably would not have joined the military otherwise.

    Unless you could prove to me that such a person was a war criminal, as defined during the post-war tribunals, I have to give them the benefit of the doubt, because I am an American.

    I understand the feelings of those GIs who returned home after the war. I came of age less than 25 years after it ended. I can't say I wouldn't feel any different, but the the US allowed it to happen. Farsighted, if you ask me. Those kinds of actions are better for creating amicable relationships then ostracizing them.

    Of all of the post-war issues that I have read or heard about, I am angrier about the order in which troops were discharged from the miltary.

    Unless someone can show me numbers to the contrary, I have heard that stateside soldiers were discharged at a faster rate than those overseas, allowing them to get the civilian jobs first, and get their slices of the GI Bill first. That coupled with the diminishing number of seats at universities, occupied by the "statesiders", by the time troops returned from overseas.

    Compounding this was the newfound freedom discovered by the women who entered the workforce, during the war. Many women held jobs that were traditionally held by men. After the war, many did not want to give up what they felt they earned. This added to the resentment the troops from overseas felt when they returned to the dwidnling job market. Also exacerbated by the wind down of the war economy. It took a little while to go from manufacturing swords to manufacturing plowshares.
    Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

    Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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    • #3
      I don't think we should be too critical of ex-POW's who decided to stay in the US after their release. Those who stayed did so because they saw the freedom and opportunity that makes the US what it is. Many who stayed were embarrassed by the actions of their native country and were trying to atone for its actions by becoming contributors to society in the US.
      Lance W.

      Peace through superior firepower.

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      • #4
        Yes, you guys are right but imagine those guys attending school and the professor asks who served in the ardennes (imagine you served with the 28th Id) and your classmates asks "which side", it sounds bizzare, but you guys are right, every American is from elsewhere.:thumb:
        VonMoltke

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        • #5
          The Waffen SS in the post war world intersts lodestar (slightly)

          Originally posted by FelixAlicea View Post
          I was reading some books on German P.O.W.s in U.S. army prison camps.
          They actually learned not only English but after the war, many of them stayed on and went to colleges in the U.S. Some of them became prominent scholars, businessmen (including a former Waffen SS sniper now a corporate businessman in Illinois). It is weird and embarrassing that many American soldiers after the war had a hard time getting back to civilian life while their enemy was attending school with them?:crazy:

          I have nothing against someone receiving an education but what if you were a returning soldier from Europe and attended a college class when the guy sitting next to you opposed you in the Ardennes! What are your thoughts?

          Especially, I don't get it that former German and Japanese soldiers joined the U.S. Armed Forces in the late 1940s and 1950s?:crazy:
          Latest in my review of all posts from Day One.
          Now this topic has not been covered lately at all, so far as I know.

          A former Waffen SS sniper a capitalist fat-cat in 2004 Illinois? Wonder if he's still around?
          Wonder what he thought of the sniper duels in 'SPR' and 'Enemy at the Gates'?

          A couple of French relatives mentioned they knew Foreign Legion officers who spoke of the ranks of the Legion being fleshed out in the first Vietnam War (1945 - 54) by former SS weirdo's.
          Said they always got the dirtiest jobs with an unspoken wish that they would get it done and of course get their just deserts (ie a shallow grave somewhere near Dien Bien Phu!)

          Any thoughts on this one?

          Regards lodestar

          Comment


          • #6
            Great way to win the peace

            Originally posted by FelixAlicea View Post
            I was reading some books on German P.O.W.s in U.S. army prison camps.
            They actually learned not only English but after the war, many of them stayed on and went to colleges in the U.S. Some of them became prominent scholars, businessmen
            My first reaction so far was: Great way to win the peace. Educate your former enemies

            Upon furhter reading my initial enthusiasm became somewhat blurred. But overall I still think it is a good idea.
            BoRG

            You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lodestar View Post
              Latest in my review of all posts from Day One.
              Now this topic has not been covered lately at all, so far as I know.

              A former Waffen SS sniper a capitalist fat-cat in 2004 Illinois? Wonder if he's still around?
              Wonder what he thought of the sniper duels in 'SPR' and 'Enemy at the Gates'?

              A couple of French relatives mentioned they knew Foreign Legion officers who spoke of the ranks of the Legion being fleshed out in the first Vietnam War (1945 - 54) by former SS weirdo's.
              Said they always got the dirtiest jobs with an unspoken wish that they would get it done and of course get their just deserts (ie a shallow grave somewhere near Dien Bien Phu!)

              Any thoughts on this one?

              Regards lodestar

              Sour Grapes
              Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                Latest in my review of all posts from Day One.
                Now this topic has not been covered lately at all, so far as I know.

                A former Waffen SS sniper a capitalist fat-cat in 2004 Illinois? Wonder if he's still around?
                Wonder what he thought of the sniper duels in 'SPR' and 'Enemy at the Gates'?

                A couple of French relatives mentioned they knew Foreign Legion officers who spoke of the ranks of the Legion being fleshed out in the first Vietnam War (1945 - 54) by former SS weirdo's.
                Said they always got the dirtiest jobs with an unspoken wish that they would get it done and of course get their just deserts (ie a shallow grave somewhere near Dien Bien Phu!)

                Any thoughts on this one?

                Regards lodestar

                My late father in law was a SgtMjr in the Waffen SS Viking and told me that after his group surrenderd to the US forces in Austria, while they were waiting to be vetted, officers from the Legion came around looking for volunteers...a few of his guys went as they had no family or anything left in Germany.......but I guess some of the "purists" in ACG would never do anything like that......

                Toulon Southern France

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                • #9
                  Makes sense that some german solders would join the forghin legion. A carrer solder may only know how to be a solder.

                  Any case it nothing strange. Same thing hampend in SA. Only with itlian POWs.
                  you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                  CPO Mzinyati

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't get me started on the seeming acceptance, treatment, and overall most, or a good many things else, accorded to former armed combatants against this country to the treatment accorded to some of those that fought and died for it. The killing part is a most disgraceful portion was initiated when the country was still at-war. Shameful would only begin to start describing it.
                    Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KICK View Post
                      Sour Grapes
                      Indeed.

                      The 'expendable SS' is a myth, although quite a few ex-SS used the Legion to separate from their past. One enlistment and French citizenship & a new name.

                      A lot of German PoWs were in Texas. Due to the manpower shortages they reconditioned/maintained a lot of public buildings. There's a restaurant here which has old pictures in it, and one shows German PoWs eating lunch there. One of the waitresses married one, and he was one of many who stayed on after the war.

                      Interestingly, it was much easier for Germans, especially ex-SS, to stay in the USA if they did it out of PoW status than if they went back and then tried to emigrate. I understand our burg had quite a little SS colony by 1946.

                      It makes sense: why go back and build up from scratch in a ruined nation when you could start over in an undamaged country? By the end of the war a lot had picked up working English skills, and in places like Texas, where there were a lot of German communities, the transition would be a lot easier.
                      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bow View Post
                        My late father in law was a SgtMjr in the Waffen SS Viking and told me that after his group surrenderd to the US forces in Austria, while they were waiting to be vetted, officers from the Legion came around looking for volunteers...a few of his guys went as they had no family or anything left in Germany.......but I guess some of the "purists" in ACG would never do anything like that......

                        Toulon Southern France
                        Wow! So soon? Tempest fugit, I guess.
                        Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would appear that it was much more common than we might have thought!! But we did pick up some "Diamonds" in the rough.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauri_T%C3%B6rni
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Dieter_Needs_to_Fly

                          Cheers,
                          Deter

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